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Showing posts with label wellness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wellness. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Making Better Fast Food Choices on the Road

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From McDonald’s to Starbucks, consuming fast food is a way of life when you’re on the road. Especially if you’re pressed for time, eating at a restaurant that offers speedy service may be your only way to have three meals a day. 


But if you’re trying to eat healthy, having to eat fast food can seem like a nightmare. Especially when you consider how many health risks the trucking industry faces each year, because truckers consume tons of fast food on-the-go. 


But there are healthier options out there for you. And they can even help you avoid things like diabetes and high blood pressure.  All you have to do is eat right.  

At first finding healthier options at a fast food restaurant may sound like a myth, but there are several sandwiches, salads, and even tacos you can eat from various fast food menus and still be healthy! No matter what your favorite fast food restaurant is. 


Here are 6 healthier options for truckers and travelers alike. So you can get your fast food fix without the excess calories.









No matter where you go, if you order the grilled option, chances are it’s a lot healthier than fried. Many places also offer salads with grilled chicken, but with the sandwiches, you get a less bulky and much more portable option for when you’re on the road. Not to mention there's the added benefit of the bread filling you up much faster than you would get with a salad.  









With junior in the name it may sound small, but no matter where you go it’s definitely filling. In fact, junior cheeseburgers are a much better option compared to their giant counterparts. And you don’t feel overfull afterwards.  Just make sure you're not adding too many extras to your burger, and lose the fries.  Those can often be another 500+ calories you don't need.









Who says bacon can’t be healthy? Yes, you should definitely avoid any sandwich that has bacon with numerous beef patties, but a nice small bacon cheeseburger can definitely help you get that bacon fix.  And you don't have to feel guilty about it!  Just be sure to check the calories on your bacon cheeseburger before you decide.  But most fast food places have one for under 400 calories.

  






There's nothing healthier than a good old fashioned black coffee. There’s less calories, no sugar, and so much more of that much needed caffeine. So get your coffee fix the old fashioned way with a nice big cup o’joe.  You can also consider unsweetened hot tea for a zero calorie solution to getting caffeinated








Generally, the Americano only goes from 5-30 calories. Plus it’s a great source of caffeine and it tastes great. And if you’re not a big fan of drinking it black, adding a splash of nonfat milk will only increase the calories by 40, making this one of the healthiest options you can order. Other than black coffee, of course.









These crunchy chicken tacos are not only delicious, they’re also nutritious! And most of the time they only have a few calories, and we're talking 200 and less. You have to make sure to watch your sodium intake though, South Western cuisine can be a little heavy handed with the salt.









There are some foods you should always, always avoid eating when you go to a fast food restaurant. These foods are filled with more calories than you need, and while it might seem like a good idea at first, you’ll regret it later.

So you should also avoid fried sides and sugary menu items such as:
  • French Fries
  • Onion Rings
  • Any Dessert
  • Milkshakes
  • Soda

You should also avoid famous menu items at any fast food restaurant, because chances are that’ll be bad for you as well. And be wary of condiments. Adding extra can significantly increase the calories of your meal. So make sure you always know what you’re eating before you eat it. And pay attention to calories!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

And remember you only have 6 days left to e-file your HVUT to avoid penalties!  

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#Wellness Wednesday: Taste the Rainbow

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Managing your health on the road takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but the reward is definitely worth it.

Having to remember everything you can and shouldn’t eat may seem like a nightmare in the beginning, but always remember that it’s a safe bet to stick to fresh food, especially when it comes to snacking.

While fresh food and being on the road don’t seem to get along very well, choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables from the produce section will help you out in the long run. Plus fruits and vegetables are resilient, and can be kept unrefrigerated for a number of days.

But what exactly should you choose to begin your wellness journey? Well, Trucking Nation, it’s time for you to Taste the Rainbow.










Red fruits and vegetables are filled with antioxidants to help your body detox. The darker the red, the higher the antioxidant. Though, that goes for any dark colored fruit or vegetable.

Red Peppers - These peppers are red bell peppers, not to be confused with spicy red peppers that could do some serious harm your tastebuds. They’re great for snacking, and they’re filled with nutrients. Not to mention they’re a great healthy replacement for french fries. Red peppers can keep for 2 days unrefrigerated.

Baby tomatoes - Not only are baby tomatoes sweet, they’re also healthy! They keep for 2 days without being refrigerated, and they can replace other unhealthy snacks like tater tots.

Red Delicious Apples - An apple a day keeps the doctor away! And with apples, especially ones of the red delicious varieties, you get a crisp, sweet snack that will fill you up. Apples can keep for 2-4 weeks without being refrigerated.








Orange fruits are high in vitamin C and vitamin K, both of which are required for a good immune system, to fight off scurvy, and have healthy eyes to see the road.

Oranges - Oranges can keep for 2-3 weeks without being refrigerated. And they’re filled with vitamins to keep you healthy on the road. Plus, they offer a much needed boost to stay awake naturally, without having to drink energy drinks.

Orange peppers - Much like their red counterpart, orange peppers are also filled with antioxidants, but they have a light fruity taste. And the crunch and freshness will have you disowning chips in no time at all. They keep for 2 days without refrigeration.

Carrots - Carrots are filled the vitamin K, which is good for your hair, skin, and fingernails. Plus, they’re super healthy, and they taste great. If you’re not a fan of the harsh crunch of carrots you can drink carrot juice, which is just as good and super tasty. Carrots can last 2 days without refrigeration, and carrot juice only needs to be refrigerated after opening.








Yellow fruits and vegetables are sweet, sour, and mostly tropical. They also contain enzymes that can reduce the risk of severe illness, as well as help lower cholesterol.

Yellow peppers - These peppers are very similar to orange peppers with the same light fruity taste. Sliced, they pack a crunch that will have you coming back for more. Any type of colorful bell peppers can be the best snack when you’re on the road. They keep for 2 days unrefrigerated.

Bananas - Bananas are filled with vitamin B6 and potassium that can help you stay awake, and prevent painful cramping. Plus, they’re filled with fiber and vitamin C! Bananas are basically a pre-packaged super delicious superfruit. They can also last 2-7 days without being refrigerated.









Cucumbers - Cucumbers are filled with antioxidants and vitamin K to help your body detox, and keep your eyes, skin, and fingernails healthy. And if you slice them up with a little bit of salt, they’re just as good as potato chips. Cucumbers last 2 days without refrigeration. If you’ve sliced them, they will expire the same day.

Avocado - Avocados are a miracle fruit. Filled with fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin K, they’re super healthy for you, and they’re very filling. And with a consistency similar to ice cream, you can eat them with a spoon right out of the skin. Avocados last 3-4 days without refrigeration.








There are technically no blue or indigo fruits, even blueberries are considered purple. Which is why we’ve lumped the last three colors in the health rainbow together to give you some amazing antioxidant packed berries that make great snacks.

Blueberries - These tiny little berries are packed with antioxidants and vitamin K with little to no calories at all. And they taste great! Anything that can make you feel good and taste great at the same time is definitely worth a try. Blueberries last for 2-3 days without being refrigerated.

Blackberries - Blackberries are filled with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. As a dark berry, they taste sweet, and contain a lot of much-needed nutrients. They last for 2-3 days unrefrigerated before expiring.

Grapes - Grapes have a low GI value, and can help with better insulin regulation, and blood sugar balance. Not to mention they improve skin health, heart health, and can aid people who are on calorie-restricted diets, or people who crave sugar but cannot have it. Grapes can last 3-5 days unrefrigerated.

You can still buy whole grain sandwiches, cheese, and pepperoni sticks, but when it comes to snacking you should definitely stay fresh and keep to the rainbow.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: 4 Stretches to Eliminate Back Pain

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Bad backs and poor circulation are one of the most common health concerns facing truckers. It’s understandable, you sit in a cab for several hours with limited movement, watching the road like a hawk.

But since it’s #WellnessWednesday, today isn’t about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can do to fight the pain and restore circulation!

Driving trucks isn’t easy, but these 4 simple back stretches definitely are. And they could save a life, and your back! So here’s how to do some quick back stretches to help you avoid back, leg, and neck pain.

Back Bends


Back bends will really help you with decompressing your spine and fluid buildup that can happen in your back after sitting for long periods of time. It might sound a little scary, but this simple stretch will help you avoid any sort of complications.

All you have to do is put your hands on your hips behind your back, leaning backwards, and holding for 5-10 seconds. Then you should repeat that 5 more times, and that’s it! You’ve successfully helped your body eliminate future back pain.

Front Bends


Front bends are important because they help you loosen your hamstrings and increase circulation to your legs. Good leg circulation is crucial for good driving, good posture, as well as good health. And all it takes is this simple stretch to maintain some great circulation!

All you have to do is put your hands on your hips, just like the back bend, and lean forward. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also combine it with the back bends for a full range of motion. Remember to hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds, and do it 5 times, while breathing in and out like normal. You don’t want to hold your breath while doing stretches. Your body needs the oxygen to repair itself.

Then voila, you’re successfully helping to avoid both back pain and poor circulation!

Knee Up’s


Knee up’s may seem a little difficult at first, but in the long run they’re worth it. Much like the front bends, they help restore circulation to your legs. They also really help you loosen up and stretch your lower abdomen, which can be difficult to stretch otherwise.

All you have to do is use the side of your truck, and place your hands shoulder width apart, taking turns to bring each knee up. Then you should turn your knee to the side, stretching it across your body.

These knee stretches will make you feel much better very quickly. You’ll also feel a lot looser, and much more flexible. So do as many as you can and try to hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds.

At first it might seem a little difficult, but in the end it’ll be rewarding, I promise! Don’t worry if you can only do a few at first. Wellness is a journey, not a destination.

Neck Stretch


The next stretch will give you some much-needed relief from the tension that builds around your shoulders and neck.

All you have to do is start with one hand down by your side, with your other hand out at a 90 degree angle. Then just lean your head to the opposite side of your outstretched arm. Try to reach out as far as you can with said arm.

Make sure you don’t let your arm drop, keep it outstretched as far as you can for 5-10 seconds. Then do 5 reps and you’ll really begin to feel loosened up, and so much less tension!

Then all you have to do is keep up with these stretches. Even doing them once or twice a week can greatly improve your mobility. And it can combat the pain of being sedentary for long periods of time! All in under 5 minutes.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#Wellness Wednesday: Exercises to Get You Through the Traffic

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Cross-state travel can be tough, especially when you hit traffic or inclement weather. But worry not, Trucking Nation, because the next time you hit traffic or weather so bad you have to pull off to the side of the road, or stop at a truck stop, we’ve got you covered.

Exercising while driving a truck is difficult. Most of the time you’re in a sitting position, driving a giant vehicle where one wrong move can mean a loss of control. But while driving across state lines and all over North America, you may find yourself spending a lot of time parked to avoid road dangers, construction, or to get some much-needed rest from the road.

That’s where we come in. It only takes a few minutes to get some much needed exercise. A little bit of healthy movement, breathing, and stretching will go a long way.

4 Simple Exercises to Get You Through the Traffic


These exercises are so easy you don’t even have to get out of your truck! Because nobody wants to stand in the rain or be ogled by passing drivers in a truck stop parking lot.

Wheel Push-ins

  • This exercise is basically the same as a push-up, and with the large cabin in your truck they should be a breeze! Put your hands on the wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock and squeeze. Both of your hands should be pressing towards each other. Do 3 sets of 10 and hold each one for an entire second. 
  • Then you can stretch by sitting tall, lacing your fingers behind your hips, and pushing your chest forward and shoulders back. 

Wheel Pulls

  • Much like the Wheel Push-ins, but going the opposite direction. Place your hands on the wheel at 5 and 7 o’clock with your palms facing you. Pull against the wheel, working the muscles in your forearms and upper arms. Do 3 sets of 10 and hold every pull for 1 second.
  • To avoid muscle aches, stretch by lengthening your arms with your palms up and clasping your hands together, pulling one arm to the side, holding for 3 seconds and then pulling the other.

Upper Back Presses

  • This exercise is great for your posture and lower back. Sitting in a truck for long period of time can definitely wreak havoc on your back muscles! All you need to do is place your hands gently on your steering wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock and push your shoulders and upper back into the seat behind you. Again, you should be holding this exercise for a full second, and you should do 3 sets with 10 reps.
  • Stretch your back by interlacing your fingers in front of you and pushing your palms upwards towards your windshield.

Calf Raises

  • This is one of my favorite exercises because you can literally do it anywhere! All you have to do is lift and lower the heels of your feet while putting weight on the balls of your feet and toes. You can even take it a step further, lifting yourself up in the seat and working your glutes. Make sure you’re still holding for a full second before moving on to the next rep. Do 3 sets of 20 reps and then stretch!
  • Stretch by straightening your legs off the floor and flexing your feet by pointing your toes for 10 seconds. 

It’s just that easy! It may not seem like much right now, but little things you do every day will build up and help you on your wellness journey. So keep up the good work, Trucking Nation!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 Tips on How to Begin Your Wellness Journey

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The best thing about deciding to live a healthier lifestyle is that you get to decide what that means for yourself. You get to choose what to change, how to eat, and how to exercise.

But maybe you aren’t sure where to start your wellness journey. We’ve got some tips for how to get started and how to change your habits over time. Because it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

5 Tips on How to Begin Your Journey:


Believe in Yourself

The first step in beginning your wellness journey is to believe in yourself. Now this probably sounds like a total cliche, but trust me, if you don’t believe you can do it then you won’t make it very far.

Talk yourself up every day, realize that you’re so much stronger than you think you are and just do it! Because every single day is another step on your path to becoming a healthier person. And it matters, it really, really matters because your health is so important. 

Eliminate Bad Habits

It takes 14-21 days to beat a bad habit, but once you’ve beaten it you’ve accomplished something great. Out there on the road it’s so easy to find yourself eating fried, sugary, and salty foods that are so bad for you. You don’t have to change your eating habits overnight, but you do have to make a choice. 

Try eliminating one of those bad things and switching it out for something healthier. Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, from ice cream to yogurt, from fried chicken to grilled chicken, or from french fries to apple slices or baked sweet potato fries. There are so many ways to make a change in yourself. All you have to do is start small and keep on trucking.

Water Is Your New Best Friend

Lose the juice and the soda and switch to water. This might seem like a huge change, but you can take your time with this one too. If you’re not a big fan of water or need a lot of caffeine to keep you going, try moving to a drink that has less calories and sodium (perhaps a diet soda). 

Then you can switch from that to carbonated or flavored water. Eventually you’ll learn to love it because drinking water will make your feel better! You’ll be less thirsty, increase your circulation, flush toxins out of your body, and it will even improve your skin.

Dance, Dance, Dance

Being cooped up in a truck all day doesn’t give you much time for exercise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are little things you can do to improve your mobility inside of your cabin. Maybe you have a song you like to dance to, crank it up and do a little dance in your truck! 

And any time to have a moment to stop, take some time to do some stretching to get your blood flowing, Not only does stretching help with your circulation, it also makes you feel so much better. You can also make it a point to walk a little further every day, every time you have a break. Eventually you’ll begin to feel like a new person!

Be Mindful of What You Consume

You don’t have to go all out and eat nothing but salads and vegetables, but you should be mindful of what you consume. If you’re eating a lot of fast food, make sure you pay attention to the calories (most restaurants will have them on their menus) in your favorite meal. 

If they seem too high, try eating just the sandwich or main entree, or substituting those calorie high french fries for something healthier like apple slices. You can still have french fries if you want to, but make sure you know what you’re putting into your body. Because monitoring the amount of calories you consume each day can help you feel less tired and lethargic and much more energetic. 

Food can give you energy, but only if you use it right!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Wellness is a Journey

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Wellness is a journey, not a destination. It takes more than deciding to go on a diet, you have to decide to change your whole life.

I’m not talking about becoming obsessive and going to the gym 7 days a week for four hours or anything like that. I’m talking about your own personal wellness journey—what you alone are comfortable with doing.

Siphiwe Baleka, an Ivy-League swimmer, was already well into his own journey before he decided to help truckers begin theirs. Instead of pursuing an Olympic Career, he found his passion was helping truckers become more active.

And he’s doing a great job at it! In fact, he’s helped thousands of truckers lose tens of thousands of pounds.

Here at ExpressTruckTax, we know trying to eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle while on the road can be tough. But we’ve got some health tips that might be able to help!

Beat the Boredom


Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. All wellness journeys should begin here. By getting your house (your mind) in order, you can begin to focus on your body. If your mental health is out of whack, then there’s a good chance you won’t be able to focus on anything else.

Boredom is a very common experience in the trucking industry. You have to sit and drive for hours, and listening to a radio station that recycles the same songs over and over isn’t very stimulating.
That’s when overeating can creep in. Because you can’t do much else while you’re driving (you also shouldn’t be eating, but we all do it). And you need to focus your mind on something other than what seems like an endless road in front of you.

But overcoming your boredom on the road can be as easy as buying an ebook, or subscribing to Amazon’s Audible (because you may not always have time to stop by a bookstore). When you have something else to focus on—other than a bad habit of eating when you’re bored—you can retrain your brain!

Which brings us to the next stop on your wellness journey: becoming health conscious.

Be Health Conscious


Nothing is going to change unless you’re willing to change it for yourself. The second step to living a healthier lifestyle is to address the problem.

Most of the time the problem is overeating, which is easy to start doing when you’re on the road all the time. Because most of the time what you’re eating has a skewed sense of serving sizes, not to mention way more than the recommended daily amount of sodium.

To help you become more conscious of what kind of calories, fat, sodium, etc. you’re taking in per day, there’s an app for that! The app is called MyFitnessPal, and you can use their website or log your daily food intake from their smartphone app.
And MFP is set by your weight and lifestyle, so even if you're sedentary, you can still lose weight or maintain your current weight.

Not to mention, after a while of recording your meals, you begin to notice that you automatically adapt to eat within your allotted calorie range. You begin to eat smaller portions because you realize just how much you may have been eating and you change it.

That’s why the second step on your wellness journey is making a change in the way you eat. It doesn’t even have to be a big one, it’s taking the step that counts!

Be More Active


Now, this next step is usually a red flag for people, but it doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t even have to step foot in a gym (unless you’re comfortable with doing that).

Being more active is just another step on your journey. And like everything else we’ve talked about, you can start small!

You can park a little farther away from where you need to go so you walk a few more steps. Or play your favorite song and dance a little in your truck. You can even spend a little more time walking around in a truck stop.

You won’t become physically fit overnight. And that’s not what this is about, it’s about taking small steps to become a better you. Because each small step you take helps you further along the road on your wellness journey.

And as long as you don’t stop, you’ll get there in no time!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

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